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Venturers vs Bill Owen XI, Sunday June 8th

Venturers 147-9; Bill Owen 109-9

Bill Owen were short of bowlers and we agreed to no restriction on the number of overs that an individual could bowl. The day was warm, though, and nobody wanted to bowl for very long. Roger and Richard made their usual steady start, one of the openers being particularly hard to get away. After a while Roger got a leading edge to him and was caught and bowled, but Richard seemed to be in no trouble until he hit a short ball to midwicket. Fluffy was joined by Ahmad and they batted well together. Fluffy now looks really solid in defence: he has shots, too, but is sometimes reluctant to use them. Ahmad, on the other hand, looks alarming when he defends but is good at placing the ball into gaps in the field. Between them they moved the score along briskly with some good running, and it was surprising that they both got out to the apparently inaccurate slow left-armer who had replaced the accurate opener. But once he got got used to the slope the left-armer stopped being inaccurate, and the fourth bowler was accurate from the start. Simon T was out cheaply and we were in some difficulties. Matt stayed with Kevin for a while, and then things got worse when he was bowled and Simon S was immediately run out by a direct hit from deep square leg. Kevin, accompanied by Andy now, hit a few more shots and ensured a respectable total, but when he was out in the 31st over the score was only 117 and we seemed unlikely to post anything very challenging. Andy and Gregory set themselves to use up the overs and hope for the best, and almost did so: Andy decided to go for his shots about three overs from the end and connected a few times before being stumped, leaving Paul and Gregory to scramble what little they could from the last over. 147 was probably more than we had expected at any stage since Ahmad was out, but it didn't look like a lot.

In the event it was plenty. There were two main dangers to us: that Sara, the wicket-keeper and opening bat, would get the runs himself; and that Bill Owen would occupy one end while the others got the runs jointly in twenties. Andy kept things very tight and bowled Bill Owen, which meant we had two ends to attack. Paul was hit over mid-on by Sara but then cramped him as he tried to pull. Again Simon T and Ahmad both ran for the same catch. Last time Ahmad stopped in time: this time Simon did and Ahmad, juggling briefly, held on. There was one more really dangerous batsman, who hit two fours in succession off Matt and was well caught and bowled trying to hit a third. After that the run rate dropped as Matt and Simon S bowled well, and the last chance Bill Owen had was to attack Kevin and Gregory. But both bowled tidily, and when Kevin bowls tidily it is dangerous to attack him: he hit the stumps four times, off, middle, leg and then off again. The tail did what they could; the number 11 should clearly have batted higher than that, but there was a farcical runout and more tidy bowling from Simon T and Fluffy, and they ran out of overs a long way short.

Fixtures & Results 2008

Cricket bat and ball